Torture. Torture is what his life had been since his only love had left him. That last meeting had haunted him. For five years his dreams were riddled with flashbacks of that fateful day, always awakening drenched in sweat, his heart in his throat and tears streaming from his eyes. Thoughts clouded his mind like swarms of flies. He was confused and lost without her, a desperate boy in a world filled with cruelty. She was his hope, yet she had left him standing alone amid mounds of rubble.

Naota flung his covers off as he suddenly jerked from a light slumber filled with that same nightmare. He sat, dazed, sweat covered, and terrified in his bed, trembling visibly. His father barged into his room, the sliding door smacking off its stopper and rebounding a few inches. "Naota-kun! What's the matter?! You keep screaming in your sleep, you always wake up drenched in sweat and shaking all over, tell me, boy, what's the matter!" Kamon urged sleepily, a notable tone of irritability and concern in his voice.

No matter how much he had begged and pleaded his son, Kamon could never get him to tell the truth. This was no different. Naota merely turned so his father couldn't see the tears on his face and wiped them off with his forearm. Kamon looked worriedly at his son before sadly shaking his head and leaving Naota to his own devices. The 17 year old waited until he heard the small clack of the door shutting before getting out of his bed and walking to his window.

It was cold out. Naota leaned forward and put his forehead on the window. The cold of the glass helped calm him. He opened the window up and gasped slightly as the freezing air rushed in, sending shivers through his body. Naota stood at the window, he could see his breath puffing from his mouth at he looked out through the dark, cold night. There he stood for nearly a half an hour, as he calmed and let his erratic thoughts disperse from his mind. Looking ruefully out into dimness of Mabase city, Naota could see the small flickers of streetlights slightly twinkling through the blackness.

Suddenly, triggered by some persistent thought that wouldn't leave him alone, he burst into quiet tears. He couldn't stand it. His life was meaningless. A bit of old useless trash thrown to the ground without a care in the world. He couldn't go on living like this anymore. It was time for him to choose.

Crossing his room, Naota found one of his hoodies. Disregarding a shirt, he pulled it on and found a pair of old jeans. Slowly and silently he made his way to the kitchen. Without a sound he crossed the threshold through the darkness, eyes accustomed to the lack of light. He scanned the counter and spotted it. The knife.

Without a second thought or regret he pulled it from its wooden holder and held it in his hand, the metallic edge reflecting an unknown light-source. He stared at the cold blade, adrenaline rushing through his veins. Grasping the blade in his hand he made his way out of the house. His father need not see this when he woke up.

He walked slowly along the street, memories of years long past shielding his vision. Good memories, bad ones, all of which he didn't want to remember, flashed before his eyes as he reached the bridge.

"This place... this place was the beginning of it all. This is where I met her, Haruko. I'll never forget her, though she may have already forgotten me," Naota thought, chuckling unemotionally, a tear streaming down his face. He looked at the blade once again. Taking a deep breath he put the point to his heart, a rush of adrenaline sending a jolt through his body. Grasping the handle with all his might he pulled his arms inward swiftly, the thin blade plunging itself deep within his chest. His body numbed as the last thoughts he would ever have swam through his mind, "This... this is all I could do. It was cowardly, but I chose this path. I loved her so much. I wish I could have seen her one last time. But now, it is too late. Too late for me, too late for her. I hope one day I can see her beauty once again. Perhaps in the dreams of this never-ending sleep. Good-bye... Haruko...." A single vision passed before his mind's eye as he fell to he ground. She was standing facing him, her eyes shined with tears as she smiled warmly putting her hands out, beckoning for his embrace.